Thursday, June 22, 2017

Baby Clothes Door Hanging Organizer

So, with Baby #3 on the way, I only have a few months to get everything ready for her arrival!

A few months before my first child was born, I was blessed with the chance to see, close-up the "baby clothes organization" of several different moms and babies.

Like, seriously, how do you keep all those little clothes in little piles and find them, without it being a total hassle?  Within 2 days, any clothes system would become a tornado of socks and pants and little tiny onesies.

So, after seeing these total messes, and remembering the total OCD person that I was (haha), I set out to find a method to keep the clothes accessible, organized, and convenient.

I came across this great idea on Pinterest, and I'm never going back!
Used along with our Baby Clothes' long-term storage (LINK), this method is one of the BEST for keeping baby clothes organized!

*Disclaimer: This is for babies, not toddlers.  Toddler clothes are too big to make this system effective.

- You need a shoe hanging organizer.
- Analyze the types and amounts of clothes you have.
- Sort into piles.
- Fold onesies a certain way. (PICTURE)
- 3-5 onesies will fit in each holder.
- Stack pants as such... layered, 3-4 pairs.
- Remember that within a few months (or earlier, if you have older children), the bottom rows will be reachable, and therefore destroyable.  Don't put super annoying and tedious clothes at the bottom.

DIY Easy Ironing Board Update

So, I got this little ironing board at a yard sale for a couple of dollars.

It was a little answer to prayers, cause I needed an ironing board, but I didn't want to: 1. Take up too much space, or 2. Spend very much on it.
I don't even iron that much, so there was no need to be extravagant.

After I got this one, I was grateful for it, but it didn't really make me "happy" to look at it...which isn't important, but as small as my craft room is, I want everything in there to make me happy.

So.  I took a GIANT shirt that I got at a different yard sale for 25c....

I flipped the ironing board over on top of the fabric, pulled the fabric tight, and used my nifty difty Dewalt (not affiliated, we just like Dewalt) staple gun to attach it to the bottom of the board.  I cut off the excess fabric.... and it looked something like this.

  See my socks with flip flops?... Classy.

Anyway, the bottom was fine, but a little....unfinished?
So I took some brown paper and a pencil, and I traced around the edges of the board, and cut out a rough shape of the board.

However,  I had to make little holes for the legs.  So I marked with a pencil where each hole fell on the brown paper...
And then I took an Xacto knife....


And sliced out the little holes.  I didn't care if it was perfect, cause really, nobody is going to be looking.

So, I made sure that the paper and holes fit on correctly...

And I trimmed a little off of the sides of the paper, so that the paper didn't go quite to the edge.
Then I stapled the brown paper on!  Depending on the material of your ironing board, you might have to use the staple gun.

And flipped over, it looks magnifique!

Now, in very little time, and with very little money, I have a simple ironing board that brings a little sunshine to my craft room!

DIY Headband Holder Oatmeal Box Tutorial

Here she is, ladies and gents: A little project I've been wanting to do since our daughter was born.

A headband holder!

It only took me a billion days to decide that I could spend a measly hour doing it....

Until now, my daughter's headbands have been folded very neatly (read: stuffed haphazardly) in a pocket of our baby clothes door hanger.

And now, the headbands are beautifully on display..... behind my locked craft room door.  Because I'm scared my toddler son will rip it apart hahaha.  Maybe someday I'll make a super high shelf in their room.  (Read: I'm going to put THAT off for another billion days.)

*Side note:  I think it's kind of funny when I look up headband holders, and there are these beautiful matchy matchy ones where all of the headbands color coordinate.  Yeah, right.*

Enough talk.
Let's start.

Step 1:

Gather your stuff.
Materials needed:
- Round Oatmeal box
- Cute cloth or paper
          TIP 1: I think that a relatively chill pattern works better, like a cloth canvasy look, or a pretty basic design.  When the design is too bold and cluttered, the whole thing looks 'in your face' when the headbands are put on.  Look these things up on Pinterest, and you'll see what I mean.)
          TIP 2: A thinner fabric will allow the box lid to easily go back on, then you can use the inside.
- Hot glue gun
- Pedestal thingy
- Scissors
- Pencil
- Optional: Iron & ironing board
- Optional: white paper & Elmer's glue

Okay, let's talk about the wooden pedestal thing for a sec.

Cause seriously, I'm not super sure where everyone else is getting theirs from.  Realistically, they are like $15-30 buckies anywhere I'm looking (chunky candlestick holders, small wooden pedestals, etc.), and that's not worth it to me at all.  I mean, you can buy one of these oatmeal box headbands holders off of Etsy for like $20-25, so why would you spend more than that on just the pedestal?

That's part of why I've put off this project so long.  Cause I actually made one of these things about 6 months ago, it just looked weird without the pedestal, aaaaaand I kind of ruined the whole thing with too much lace.  So I trashed it.

But that's another story.

THIS pedestal thingy, I got from a yard sale for.....hmmm...let me remember.... oh yeah. Free.
Holla!  The lady was basically closing down her sale, and I was so pumped when she was like, "Oh, you can just have it."

So I took it home.  A few days later, during nap time, I decided that I wanted to paint it a creamy white, and distress it.
Problem #1: I didn't have creamy white paint.
So, being impatient, I decided that I was going to paint it anyway, but my favorite color of paint ever, some light teal stuff from WalMart.  Bimini or Caribbean or something.

But, being a little less lazy, I figured I'd better sand it a little first.
Soooo this is after a little bit of sanding:

And I realized... HEY.  It's creamy white underneath.

So I ditched the whole blue thing, and decided to just sand it!

I was starting to get super excited at this point...

And BAM!

My creamy white, distressed pedestal, with almost no effort.
I felt so blessed.
You might not get so lucky, so you might have to actually paint and distress yours.  Haha.

Step 2: (optional)

I forgot to take a picture of this, but my fabric was SUPER thin, so the oatmeal box words showed through.  Gross.

(Obviously, skip this step if your fabric isn't that see-through.)

So I made a little paper buffer, by just cutting some white paper and gluing it to the box.

Ta da.

It ain't perfect, but it didn't need to be.  It just needed to work. And it did.

So next, as you can (kind of) see in the above picture (by my bright floral ironing board), I measured and cut out a chunk of fabric for the oatmeal box, and then I ironed it, to get rid of wrinkles.

Don't stress the fabric size too much.  Make it a little too big and you can always cut more off.  Make sure that you have about an inch of fabric on both the top and the bottom of the box, so that you can wrap it around and have clean edges.

Step 3: 

Glue your fabric to your box with a hot glue gun.
Make sure you have extra glue on hand, and that the gun is super hot before you start to use it.

Also, this is a little painful to your fingers haha, but press down on the glue briefly after each time you glue, so that your fabric doesn't have all the weird glue bumps underneath.
Apply as much or as little glue as you need, taking care to get the edges and avoiding bubbles.

*IMPORTANT:  I forgot to take a picture of this, but make a little fold in the fabric end that is going to end up on top, so that you don't have frayed edges on top, but a crisp, folded-under seam.

After you glue around it, it should look something like this.

Let's take a moment to appreciate the blurry picture and the paint on my desk.

Alright.  So, working in small sections with your glue gun, pull the fabric tight and glue it to the bottom of your box, like so:

It doesn't really matter if it's perfect, cause 1. it's the bottom, and 2. we'll be covering it up.

So, set your oatmeal box right-side up on top of another section of fabric, and draw a pencil circle around it.  Make sure to draw on the side that isn't going to be face-up.

Cut it out...

Iron it, and glue it to the bottom.

It's a little lumpy, but it does the job. You could always stick a circular piece of cardboard between the two layers to avoid lumpiness, but I don't care that much.

Step 4:

The top.

Glue the fabric into the inside, pulling tight.

Again, the actual end result doesn't matter too much, as long as the fabric on the outside of the box stays flat and tight.

You'll need to cut another fabric circle for the top of the box.

Trace the top of the box onto another chunk of fabric.
Remember: The picture doesn't extend to the edge of the lid. Trace a line (pictured below) that's about the width of the lid ring, around the inside of your fabric circle.

Cut out the inner circle.

If you needed a piece of paper under your fabric to wrap the box, don't forget to cut a piece of paper to go under this little fabric circle.

Glue down the paper, and then the fabric.

Smooth out lumps and glue as you go.

Now for the pedestal.

Make sure your glue gun is SUPER hot (aka somehow mine got unplugged right here, and I didn't realize it, and I had to do this part like 3 times)....

Before you glue, turn your box upside down, put your pedestal where you want it, and lightly draw a pencil line around the outside of it.  This way, you don't have to adjust the gluey pedestal, you just have to line it up inside the pencil circle.

**Here is a little secret: Because of the shape of my pedestal, there was a space between the top of the pedestal and the bottom of the oatmeal box.... and I wrote a cute little love note to my husband, folded it up, and taped it to the box before I glued the pedestal on.  So, someday, when this thing gets bashed or something, and the bottom falls off, my little note to my sweetheart will remind him that I've always loved him.  Aw.  So cheesy.**

Alright. Next.  Apply a (kind of) huge amount of hot glue to the top of the pedestal, and press it onto the bottom of the box, lining it up with your pencil outline.

Be firm, but don't push too hard, because you don't want to bust through the bottom of your box.

Woo hoo! It's (finally) done!

Adorn your new headband holder with millions of bows, and viola!

The back isn't necessarily as pretty, but it's a great place to clip other little bows....

OR you can throw those little bows INSIDE of the oatmeal box, along with brushes, hair ties, barrettes, etc.

I'm loving my daughter's cute new headband holder!

Let me know in the comments how this project went for you, and where you got your pedestal! :)


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cinnamon Rolls

Do you know what a cinnamon roll is?

Like, do you really really know?

When you were like 10 years old, you maybe thought you'd found the one, the love of your life, but skip forward a decade or two, and you now know that you don't always know what love is until you actually find it.  The deep, fulfilling happiness.  The trust and commitment.  The "can't breathe, can't think, can't stop smiling, can't stop dreaming about that one person" feeling.

That's like cinnamon rolls.  You thought that you knew what a good cinnamon roll was, based on those overly processed, pre-packaged, double-pack, worthless, stick-to-the-plastic, pasty Princess Leias.  But I'm going to tell you that although some people marry their 3rd grade true love, most people grow up and realize that they were wrong about cinnamon rolls their whole life.

I'm going to wager that these are actually the best cinnamon rolls you have ever, ever had.

That's a tall order to fill. "The best?" Really?
Haha. That's weird looking, so big.  But seriously yes.

Monday, November 14, 2016

8 tips on how to be a good babysitter, from a MOM

Here's how to be a good babysitter, from the viewpoint of a mom.

1. Show up on time.

I'm a hypocrite for saying it, but it is super important, so it's got to be number 1.  The people you're babysitting for probably have an agenda, and they will be more likely to ask you again if they feel like they can rely on you to be punctual.

2. Be flexible.

Kids don't usually follow the perfect schedules that we (as parents) create for them.  If the parent asks you to come 15 minutes earlier or later, roll with it.  If one of their children wakes up unexpectedly from a nap, don't complain about it.  That's what you're there for.

3. You have to like other people's kids.

I know this seems like a given, but the same rule applies to teaching, and you know we all had that one teacher who hated children.
You have to have a high level of tolerance for whining, misbehavior, and crying.  As a babysitter, the children often act out more with you than they do when they're with their parents.  You're new.  They want to impress you.  Or get rid of you, according to the movies.

4. Have fun!

Remember, your best advertising is a child that won't stop asking for you to come back.
Don't play on your phone, even if the kids are taking care of themselves.  I'm personally fine with babysitters being on Netflix or Pinterest when all the kids are asleep, but when they're awake, earn your pay and play with them!  Parents will appreciate when you entertain their children.  When I babysat in college, I would bring a giant hot pink bag with me full of random surprises (frisbees, balls, play dough, puzzles, etc.) and I called it the Magical Bagical (Classy, I know).  Last I heard, one of the little boys I babysat still says "Magical Magical!" when he sees my picture.  Kids remember.

5. Clean up.

Now, I'm not saying that you need to white glove their house, or that you need to feel like their disaster zone is your responsibility.  Not at all.  I'm just saying that you're more likely to be valued (and therefore invested in) when you pick up after the messes that the kids make while you are in charge, such as dishes and toys.

6. Be honest about their kids, but tactful.

Make sure to let the parents know if anything potentially dangerous happened, or if anything got broken.  However, try not to talk too much about how tired the kids made you, or how much they cried.  First off, crying and being tired is the life of a parent, and a babysitter is a temporary fill-in parent, so don't expect better treatment than the actual (unpaid) parent gets.  Chances are, the parents know that their baby is teething and fussy, or that their toddler son throws temper tantrums and their little girl hates broccoli.  Parents are usually aware of their children's problems, and "informing" them will probably come off as complaining.  If they didn't injure anyone, do anything morally questionable, or destroy anything, then don't mention it.

7. Drive.

Now, obviously, this is usually an age thing, but I've had to pick up a couple of licensed babysitters who were perfectly capable of driving a car, but who were too cheap to spend the gas money.  That's super frustrating.  Also, if you're old enough to drive but don't have your license, get it.  I cannot stress enough how much parents love a driving babysitter.  Not only do they not have to pick you up (which, if you do the math, makes them drive twice as much as you would, just to have you babysit), but you're able to transport the kids in an unforeseen emergency.

8. Be available, no matter the time or the day of the week.

If you are always turning down parents when they ask you to babysit, they're going to stop asking.  Am I saying that you should accept that babysitting job at 6:45 AM?  If you're serious about babysitting, yes.   Don't miss school or your own wedding reception or anything, and definitely don't let people take advantage of you, but if you're willing to go out of your way, people will start referring you.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Old Beginnings

My husband and I have a lot of goals.
Unfortunately, most of those goals revolve around going to bed early and waking up early.
Some other goals include eating healthy food, developing a good budget, and actually exercising or at least doing something besides walking from the couch to the fridge.
Seeing all of this written down makes me kind of feel like a bum.  I can just see you saying in your brain, "So.  You sleep late, you spend your money poorly, and you're unhealthy?"
Not quite. It's not that bad. Maybe.
I mean, when you have kids, sleeping late doesn't really exist.  I still get up at 7 or 7:30 AM every day.  BUT, I would really like to get up an hour and a half before the kids and go on a run, shower, read some scriptures and pray, and make a good healthy breakfast BEFORE the children wake up.
I know this is possible because we did it, at least twice haha. Maybe even for a week. I can't remember.  It's been a while...
Regardless, this brings me back around to my point.  Old beginnings.  It seems like we have tried a thousand times to "get on a good schedule."  We have started this worn out resolution over and over and still can't seem to stick with it.  We've revamped our plans and tweaked the details and tried to be realistic with ourselves and our time.  And yet each time, it fails. We either set our expectations too high or circumstances change or we just stop caring enough to tough it out when it gets hard.
It's been really hard on us to fail so consistently at these goals that are so good and worthy of our time.
However, I have been blessed by two different experiences recently that have helped my perspective.
Experience #1:
In April 2016, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a talk in the General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (you can find the whole talk here) and in his talk, he said this:
"With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don't always succeed."
This talk made me realize that I need to stop beating myself up for not being perfect, and that God is happy when we try to do His will and keep His commandments. The key is that we have to keep trying, and keep working on improving.  We need to rely on Jesus Christ to change our natures.  We need to get up when we fall.  We can't just be satisfied with how we are.  We can't be apathetic about our faults, but we also can't focus on them too much.  God loves us regardless of our imperfections, and we need to love Him enough to do His will in the best way that we can. Mistakes will happen but we can't give up, because He doesn't give up on us.
Experience #2:
In church on Sunday, one of the speakers told a story that made me realize that my desires matter more than my circumstances. What DO I want? Do I actually want to get up early, or do I actually just want to sleep all day? Do I actually want to eat healthily, or would I rather not give up no-bake cookies? Do I actually want to be active and fit, or am I content with being pretty sedentary? In trying to explain to my husband about my thoughts on the subject, I came across this great quote.
"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." -Jim Rohn
This is really profound. Seriously. Think about it.  So, I've decided that I need to stop analyzing my actual problems for a little while and analyze my desires. Because if I actually want to be healthy, I'll put in the time for it, even when there doesn't seem to be any time available. If I actually want to renovate my home, I will make it happen. If I actually want to be a good wife or be on time or be happy or learn how to make Taco Bell burritos (although that may go against my health goals...), I will find a way to do that.
Let's change our desires so that we stop making excuses and make things happen.